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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 15, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EST

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also require president obama to certify that iran doesn't financed terrorist groups that have attacked americans. and would prevent iran from maintaining low-level nuclear enrichment capabilities. all these terms are much stricter than the court proposed framework of negotiations with iran. ..
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>> president obama should make it utterly clear that iran is not immune from military strikes and that the united states has the capabilities to severely set back iran's nuclear program because we do. unfortunately, this president's promises of military action have rung hollow since he blinked and refused to enforce his own red line against syria in 2013. thus it may be up to the congress to restore the credible threat of force against iran. and congress can do that not only by imposing new sanctions, but also by offering to transfer advanced weapons like surplus been-52 bombers and 30,000 pound bunker-busting bombs to israel. perhaps israel already has the capabilities to retard iran's nuclear program. i leave that assessment in the hands of the government of israel. but a congressional offer whether or not accepted, can remove any doubts in the minds
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of iran's ayatollahs. finally, our pole should make -- our policy should make clear there's only one acceptable outcome; complete disarmament by iran subject to unfettered on-site verification by u.s. and western officials. lesser terms will not fully protect america from the threat posed by a nuclear iran. which raises one final important point. president obama has shown no intent to change his dangerous course to shift his policy of conciliation and peace through weakness. on the contrary he's started negotiations without congressional input and apparently intends to avoid senate ratification of any final agreement, if he ever reaches one. this end run would be at peace with his amnesty degree and his swap of five taliban commanders
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or detained at guantanamo bay for an american soldier without congressional notification. but any unilateral agreement with iran might be his worst abuse yet of his executive power and our constitutional system of checks and balances. the founders specifically required senate notification of such agreements to protect americans from rash unwise executive action. perhaps taken more to secure a legacy than to secure measuring's interests. congress should, therefore, insist -- as our new leadership has -- that we will vote on any final nuclear agreement with iran. while our president believes he can go it alone to negotiate this deal ultimately, only congress has the constitutional power to permanently lift sanctions on iran. and if the president believes he can go it alone with iran, congress should act to prevent him from doing so. indeed we might even go so far as legislating any deal found
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unacceptable would be undone and void at the start of a new administration. in late 1936 churchill made a long speech on the years of british appeasement in the face of german rearmament. churchill observed quote: the era of procrastination of half measures, of suiting and baffling -- soothing and baffling expedience, of delays is coming to a close. in its place we're entering a period of consequences. so too with us today. as iran continues its progress towards nuclear weapons capability, as it economy rebounds from earlier sanctions, as its regional influence waxes and as barack obama's tenure wanes, our choices will be clarified and the consequences along with them. let us not join our ancestors in being asked by future generations why didn't they do something. thank you all. i appreciate your time. i wish i could stay for
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questions, but i have to go back for hearings on this very matter. [applause] >> thank you very much. okay. i would like to invite our panel up now to have a discussion about this. bruce clinger is our senior research fellow here at the heritage foundation, jim phillips here from heritage and anya quintana. i'll turn it over to bruce to moderate the panel. well, thank you very much. we're here to talk about three rogue regimes whose motto might be opportunity for none and favoritism to just a few. and we're to cover three rogue regimes, iran, cuba and north korea, in about 25 minutes, so brace yourselves. we're going to talk quickly. and it'll be sort of like the
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audience having to run down a buffet line as three chefs pelt you with what we think are the most important things or the best tasting things. but the good news is you always can come back for more, we'll hang around during the break and talk to us or look at the papers that i think have been left out on the table outside. what i'm going to try to do is try to debunk, very quickly, a few of the myths about north korea sanctions. the first is that the u.s. and face a policy choice between sanctions and diplomacy. and really both of those along with the other instruments of national power should be used in an integrated, comprehensive manner. you don't rely on any one tool, and diplomacy and sanctions are really two sides of the same coin. as frederick the great said, diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments. you need all of them. the second myth is that sanctions can't affect an
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isolated country like north korea. well, even the most isolated regime or terrorist group or criminal group, its money has to cross borders at some point in suitcases full of cash which is suspicious and inefficient or digitally. and because of the centrality of the u.s. dollar to the international financial system the vast majority -- some say 95% of all international transactions -- are denominated in dollars. and that means they have to go through a u.s. bank which is regulated by the u.s. treasury department. if you transfer money from australia to england, if it's denominated in dollar, it goes through new york. and because of that it allows the u.s. to regulate and oversee any account including corresponding accounts of overseas entities and you can find them. the british with bank was fined -- the british bank was fined $2 million for money
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laundering including with iran, and the assets can be seized under the u.s. patriot act. and also and even perhaps most importantly any entity that is found to be a money laundering concern is precluded from engaging in the u.s. financial system. that's like a financial scarlet t letter and no one will want to deal with you. a third myth is that north korea's the most heavily sanctioned country in the world. you see that in virtually every media article. it's simply not true. the u.s. e. u. and u.n. iml pose stronger sanctions and targeted financial measures on iran more than north korea and that's one of the reasons why iran came back to the negotiating table. the u.s. itself unilaterally has more entities on its sanctions list from from the balkans, cuba, iran burma and even zimbabwe than north korean entities. we have nearly three times as many zimbabwe entities on the sanctions list as north korea.
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fourth, there's nothing more the u.s. can do on north korea. again, you'll see that often in the media. and, again that's not true. the u.s. has a number of existing laws and regulations that we've simply not applied as firmly towards north korea as we have to other nations. president obama, the former assistant secretary of state for east asia, etc., etc., have all said there are other measures that we're contemplating, some of them are blood curdling, and yet we still wait a year or more after these statements. a fifth sanction -- a fifth myth sanctions don't work on north korea. well, they do k. we did, we had an extensive program in 2005 against a bank where in conjunction with the u.s. treasury department announcing it as a money laundering concern, there were a number of private meetings with u.s. officials throughout asia with businesses and banks. it led to over two dozen entities no longer going to do business north korea. a north korean negotiator told a
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white house official you finally found a way to hurt us. and the obama administration came in office saying it was a huge mistake for the bush administration to have removed those sanctions, which we did in trying to improve the atmosphere for nuclear negotiations, and the obama administration has said they're trying to recreate the pressure that the u.s. had in 2005. what are some of these things that we can do, that the u.s. can do under existing law? we can put north korea back on the state sponsors of terrorism list, we can designate them as a primary money laundering concern as we have iran burma and ukraine, we can formally charge them as a counterfeit -- [inaudible] we can impose human rights-related sanctions on them as we already have on zimbabwe and congo. the presidents of zimbabwe and congo are on the u.s. sanctions list because of human rights violations, and yet 11 months after a u.n. commission
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concluded north korea had committed crimes against humanity because of their widespread systemic human rights violations, the u.s. has done nothing on north korean human rights. and, actually, the let's goes on. so what i would say in conclusion is i'll leaf you with a -- i'll leave you with a question. why would the u.s. hesitate to impose the same measures on north korea that we've already applied on orr countries -- on other countries for far less egregious violations? thank you very much. i'm going to turn it over to anna to talk about cuba. >> yeah. um so a great way of understanding the president's new dangerous policy towards cuba, these weakening of sanctions is really to look at the past and look at what previous administrations have done, particularly the carter and clinton administration, and how the cuban government has responded aggressively. and then we have to look at the present, see exactly how sanctions have been weakened. and see the unilateral concessions that have been granted towards the castro regime and how that's going to
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end up effectively undermining our national security and our interests in seeing a free and democratic cuba. so carter reestablished diplomatic relations with the castro regime in '77 and he was pursuing going even further than creating a section of interest and allowing them to create a reciprocal section of interest when the cuban goth launched -- government launched expeditionary forces in over a dozen countries in africa, what they called liberation movements were really leftist insurgencies right? and then clinton in '96 and '95 -- '94 and '95 wanted to create conditions for better relations. they obviously didn't right? so in doing so, they created this perception of weakness. and any weakness towards the regime is provocative. so the regime responded with downing the rescue flights in
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996 -- 1996 which three pilots were killed and one resident was killed in international waters. this is when we got the cuban liberty and democracy act. this put the embargo and international sanctions completely under the purview of congress. so now you need congressional authorization to lift the embargo, right? and you also had a strengthening of international sanctions. so now moving forward to the president's new policy. so he has now created -- and this is white house demanding absolutely anything. he demanded nothing of the castro regime. this is the united states essentially bending over backwards despite the fact that cuba needs pursue free and fair elections, needs to allow for the establishment of labor unions right? just needs to create a free and fair cuba which is obviously not in their interests. so the president has now after 18 months of secret negotiations in which they did not involve
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the state department, and the nsc fully admits to this has decided to do three things to normalize relations. cuba can now -- the castro regime can now have an ambassador in the united states. they have now essentially, been absolved of over half a century of aggression towards the united states and towards its own people and towards -- the aggression that they fostered throughout africa and latin america. they can now have an ambassador here. president obama has gone even as far as calling raul castro president. he's calling him president castro. this is someone who was never elected. the only reason he is in power is because he he is the younger brother of fidel castro another person never elected. so president obama is expanding the ability for americans to travel as tourism. before there was -- it's extremely difficult for an american to travel to cuba. me as a cuban-american, it was difficult for me before there was a restriction, you could only go once every three years.
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now that's been completely obliterated for cuban-americans and for american, it's going to be extremely easy for them to travel as well. but what people need to realize is that the military controls the tourism industry from top to bottom. from the hotel you're staying at, from the rum you're going to be trig, that is -- drinking that is all controlled by the military, and that's all additional revenue that's going to the military. and another area that's been weakened is remittances. so cuban-americans would send to the island about $3 million annually in remittances and this is when the cap was previously before obama changed it, the cap was $500 per quarter in remittances that were sent. the cuban government taxes that 20%. then another 20% is taxed once that's converted from u.s. currency to the local currency. that's over $700 million in profit that they're making. imagine now from $500 that's been quadrupled to $2,000 every
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quarter. now we need to multiply $700 million by four. that's additional hard currency that's going straight into the hand of the regime. what incentive do they have to change that? we have given a dying regime a lifeline right to continue their aggressiveness towards us and towards the cuban people. two days after obama made his announcement raul castro stood in the full of the national assembly in full military garb stating cuba will remain a communist country and will never change. cuba will never see democracy. now, we need to lock at this in terms of -- look at this in terms of what's going to be the future of u.s./cuba relations if this regime is accountable to no one. we have put no conditions on these negotiations. they have nothing to be responsible for. and really what's going to be the future of democracy on the island? congress needs to make sure that state department programming that we continue supporting the peaceful opposition that we
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continue supporting the democratic opposition on the island, and it appears to be that the state department is reorienting their promotion programs to dispute these measures right? what are the implications for future negotiations with regimes like north korea and iran? if we granted these wide, sweeping overturing, what are they going to do d overyou are thes -- overtures what are they going to do with north korea and iran? >> i'd like to say a few words about the long-running negotiations with iran and the nuclear issue. they are expected to come to a climax this year one way or the other. i think congress can play a helpful role in crafting sanctions that would not only enhance u.s. bargaining leverage, but also deter iran from pulling a dip lo -- diplomatic rope-a-dope.
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from the beginning the obama administration, i think, has failed to grasp the essential nature of iran's islamist dictatorship. in his inughal speech, the president proclaimed to iran and other dictatorships that we will extend a hand if you are unwilling to unclench your fist. this engagement policy, i think, reflected a very naive and wishful thinking. the administration failed to understand that the unpopular regime in iran could not unclench its fist over its own people without risking being overthrown, and this became cheer in june 2009 -- became clear in june tween when the green movement orchestrated protests which were brutally suppressed. the white house missed the opportunity to stand with and support the iranian people p. it preferred to ignore the green
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movement in a vain effort to strike a deal with the regime over the heads of its own repressed people. it failed to understand that the hostile ideological motivation of the regime which sees itself not as a typical country, but as the vanguard of a global islamist revolution. anti-americanism is part of its ideological dna, and that's why it calls the u.s. the great satan, and it continues to stage demonstrations in which their supporters chant "death to america." the administration unfortunately, has treated iran like just another country and offers to reward the regime by allowing it to rejoin the international community, but that's the last thing that iran's dictators want because they've invested so heavily in their self-placating leadership of the global islamic revolution that a genuine reconciliation with the u.s. and the west would
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spark an ideological crisis that could undermine its own legitimacy. the supreme leader, ayatollah khamenei, has repeatedly warned against too much contact with the west and west foxification and continues the to warn against a velvet revolution. islamist totalitarians by nature reject compromise, and instead iran has sought sanctions relief in the negotiations without compromising its ability to eventually build a nuclear weapon. it demands the right to build thousands of more centrifuges which would further reduce the time it needs to stage a nuclear breakout. iran is slow walking the negotiations which already have missed two deadlines in july and november and, actually, iran's
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been negotiating in some form or other since 2002. so if you count all those failed negotiations, there's reason to suspect that these negotiations are not going to ultimately going too well. iran continues to stall on concessions, convinced it will get a better deal. meanwhile, the administration is bending over backwards to get a deal that it hopes will burnish its legacy. it's made major compromises in several sensitive areas including accepting uranium enrichment which was of banned by multiple u.n. security council resolutions. it's retreated from demands on iran closing its illicit nuclear facilities at natanz, at fordo and at araq, and it's backed away there from full iranian cooperation with the ongoing iae, investigation into the possible military dimensions of its program.
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iran has obtained substantial sanctions relief in exchange for symbolic and incremental concessions that can be easily withdrawn as it has many times in the past. one of the biggest mistakes the administration made was in prematurely relaxing economic sanctions against iran which undermined its own bargaining leverage. sanctions are the only reason that iran came to the table in the first place, and many of them were imposed over the objections of the administration. thanks to sanctions relief iran has enclosed its oil exports -- increased its oil exports from one million barrels a day before the november 13, 2013, interim agreement to ant 1.4 -- to about 1.4 million perils a day this past november, and that has added about $10 billion to iran's annual oil revenues. the iranian economy grew an estimated 4.6% in the first quarter of iran's calendar year
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x this is the first time it's grown after shrinking the last two years under sanctions. the bottom line is that this has reduced the incentives of tehran to negotiate in good faith and increased its willingness to engage in open-ended diplomacy while continuing to advance its nuclear program through research and development. congress can help to remedy the situation by putting in place sanctions that would be imposed if iran violates the interim agreement or fails to negotiate an acceptable final agreement within a reasonable amount of time. there's strong bipartisan support for a tough or negotiating policy and a likely vehicle for expressing this support is the kirk-menendez bill which would ratchet up sanctions on iran's oil exports and strategic sectors of the iranian economy if it violates the interim accord or drags its feet further on a final
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agreement. senator harry reid, the senate majority leader in the last congress blocked consideration of this bill last year but the senate banking committee is expected to approve a version of it soon. congress should weigh in on any proposed nuclear deal. the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, senator corker, reportedly is working with senator lynn -- lindsey graham to submit legislation that would require the president to snit any deal to -- to submit any deal to congress within three days. congress would hold hearings and have an additional 15 days to vote on the agreement. congress also should exercise its oversight powers and hold hearings to make sure that the administration continues to prosecute sanctions violaters because if the u.s. starts going lump on these sanctions -- going lump on these sanctions, other
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countries are sure to l follow. finally, congress could play a role in the long record of violating the human rights of its own people while functioning as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism. after all it's the nature of the iranian regime and the threat it poses that makes the iran nuclear issue such an important one. and let me just -- >> all right, thank you. we sort of ran around the world very quickly, or at least the rogue regime part of it. so we have a few minutes for questions, although i've been told we have a hard stop at the end. so if anyone wants to raise their hand, and please wait for a microphone. right down here, sir. >> given that i agree with each of the foreign goils in cuba -- goals in cuba or iran or north
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korea or zimbabwe or the balkans, i challenge the notion that sanctions are the effective remedy. i wonder if any of you can point to an instance when sanctions have actually changed behavior of a regime and accomplished our foreign policy objectives. we've created ofac an international bureaucracy devoted to imposing and enforcing these sanctions imposes billions of dollars of regulatory burden on u.s. industry. i wonder whether sanctions, in fact are the proper remedy to these foreign policy problems. >> i'll take a crack. as i tried to point out in the beginning, it's not an either/or. it should be used in conjunction. so one wouldn't necessarily point to any one tool of u.s.
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foreign policy as the the tool which brought it about. i mean certainly the south african apartheid regime, you know, was, i think, heavily influenced by official and nongovernment and private sanctions. and also there's targeted financial measures which is what goes after the criminals, not the people themselves. i'd point out targeted financial measures or sanctions more broadly really have a number of objectives. i'd say there's five objectives. one is upholding u.s. law. and if we don't upholder or defend our laws, then they're meaningless. two would be you're imposing a penalty or a cost on those that violate u.s. law. and, again, that's targeted financial measures as opposed to sanctions. three, you're trying to constrain the in-flow of prohibited items into a country like north korea including financing from their illicit activities. four you're trying the to prevent or at least reduce the
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proliferation of items, and five the most difficult along with the other tools of instrument, national power you're trying to alter their behavior modify their behavior in north korea's case, getting them to abide by their signatures or eight or more national agreements not to have nuclear weapons. so i think we need to look at it more broadly in context of a broader foreign policy. >> all right. down here in the front. >> i reject the expression that i hear all the time in the news i've heard it here today, that obama is building his legacy. in doing all these different things he's doing, things that go against the best interests of the united states and its people. and it disheartens me to hear people use that term. he is very wholeheartedly,
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determinedly pursuing policies that are hurting this country. you would not call it building a legacy. i would say hurting america. there's a mor linguistically important way to say that. but words have consequences. and by saying that we build an excuse for him. we misrepresent his intentions to the people of america. and for this country to change and to get on the correct path, we must be well aware of what we are facing from leadership as well as from without. [applause] >> well, i would agree with that. i would agree with that and i think we were using shorthand, because i would agree the real danger is in iran that his legacy will be a nuclear iran. >> well, we've unfortunately just gotten the signal we have
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to bring our panel to a close. perhaps it's a sign of success the be we've run out of time -- if we've run out of time before we ran out of questions. so thank you all very much. [applause] >> former treasury secretary larry summers and washington post columnist -- [inaudible] will participate in a discussion on income inequality and the economy. live coverage from the center for american progress starts today, 10 a.m. eastern here on c-span2. later international monetary fund director christine lagarde will talk about the health of the global economy. watch live coverage from the council on foreign relations at 11 eastern.
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>> here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span2 saturday night at 10 on booktv's ""after words,"" wall "wall street journal" editor brett stevens argues our enemies and competitors are taking advantage of the situation abroad created by the u.s. as it focuses on its domestic concerns. and sunday night at ten, democratic representative from new york steve israel on his recent novel about a sale asman and a top secret government surveillance program. and on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8 p.m. eastern on lectures in history george mason professor john turner on the early mormons and their attempt to create a new zion in the american west during the 1830s. and sunday afternoon at 4 on "real america," nine from little rock. the 1964 academy award-winning film about the forced desegregation of little rock arkansas,'s all-white high school. find our complete tv schedule at
8:32 am call us at 02-626-3400, e-mail us at or send us a tweet as c-span it'd comments. like us on facebook follow us on twitter: >> the c-span cities tour or takes booktv and american history tv on the road traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. this weekend we partnered with comcast for a visit to wheeling west virginia. >> i wrote these books, the wheeling family. they're two volumes. the reason i thought it was important to collect these histories is that wheeling transformed into an industrial city in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, and it's kind of uncommon in west virginia in that it drew a lot of immigrants from various parts of europe here search of jobs --
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here in search of jobs and opportunity. so that generation that immigrant generation is pretty much gone. i thought it was important to record their stories, to get the memories of the immigrant generation and the ethnic neighborhoods they formed. it's an important part of our history. most people tend to focus on the frontier history the civil war history. those periods are important, but of equal importance in my mind is this industrial period and the immigration that wheeling had. >> wheeling starts as an outpost on the frontier. that river was the western extent of the united states in the 1770s. the first project funded by the federal government for road production was the national road that extended from cumberland,
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maryland, to wheeling virginia. and when it comes here to wheeling that will give this community -- which about that time is about 50 years old -- the real spurt that it needs for growth. and over the next 20-25 years, the population of wheeling will am triple. >> watch all of our events from wheeling saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's booktv and sunday afternoon at two on american history tv on c-span3. >> more now from the heritage foundation's conservative summit. coming up, members of congress talk about abortion marriage and religion. >> i'm going to introduce to you mark meadows who's one of our great friends here at the heritage foundation. he is no longer a freshman of congress, he came in in 2012, so
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now he's a seasoned vet. and, but since coming into congress, he's immediately taken to the conservative movement and has been always willing to be a leader for us and all the things that we're working on. today he's going the talk to us about the pro-life agenda in the house of representatives. we are, this is the 42nd anniversary coming up of roe v. wade. in that time frame 60 million abortions have taken place 60 million. and the thing that we see happening out will across the country is that more and more people are becoming pro-life. more and more people are recognizing that this isn't just a simple decision that is about one person. this is a decision about two people, and this is a decision about a real child. and so that tragedy has unfolded over the last 42 years but i have great hope, and i think a lot of our speakers have great hope. and you'll see the reason for
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that as they come up and talk. and also on january 22nd we're going to have the pro-life march here in washington d.c. i remember being a little kid and being bussed up here with my parents for that pro-life march and it's always the most cold day of the year by far, but it's always a great event. so if you're around and can be a part of that, i would highly recommend it. but for now let's have congressman meadows come up and talk to us about the fetal pain bill and the life agenda in congress in general. please welcome congressman mark meadows. [applause] >> well, it is a privilege to be here with you and just share or a little bit from my heart as we look at the life issue, and truly as we start to address this, as tim was mentioning, you know it's really third stool for those that are conservative. and as we start to look at the 42nd anniversary of roe v. wade,
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this is one of the few few -- few areas that as a social conservative that there is progress being made, and hearts are being changed lives are being changed. and in this particular issue, lives are being saved. and so i wanted to just share a little bit. you've got a panel that will be coming up that will talk about all of the technical detail, but what i want to do is give you a story of hope a story of encouragement and also about the importance of this particular bill that will be coming up on the house floor here this just a few weeks -- in just a few weeks as we look at h.r. 36 which is the pain capable bill that is really designed to limit abortions for those up to and exceeding 20 weeks. now, when i say that i have to take you to a story that really transformed my life and made me
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more pro-life. and so i want to take you back some 20, almost 23 years now take you back to when my wife was actually pregnant with our first born son. and so as we were there, you know, you get excited and we were older first-time parents and so my wife as she was carrying my son, you know, it started getting a little bit larger out front, and so i started talking to my son. and when i would do that, he would move around in the womb. and i could feel him press back and i could feel him kick. so then i got to the point where i would actually sing a song to him, and i would sing this song, and when i would do that, there was a response. there was no denying the fact that that was life and that there was a response to me.
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and my wife who had been pro-life for many years prior to that said do you realize that it is legal for us to abort this child right now? well, i mean that came as an unbelievable shock to me, and i said well, how could that be true? because for many people that have argument about being pro-choice what they're talking about is it's all about a choice. but for me when i was in high school, we thought that choice was within the first trimester, and, you know, it was only very limited. so all of a sudden my world view started to get challenged. and it came to the fact that i was having to wrestle with what i knew i was life what i knew was responding to me and yet having to come to a decision on how do i how do i address that?
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now, technology is helping millions of americans start to have that same realization. you know, we've got a sonogram now that is third and fourth generation. when you start to look at that it really gives you a vivid picture. when they showed he the sonogram of my son 23 year ago, you know, i looked at it, and i said, you know, which way is up? it was not real detailed. that is not the case now. and so what's happened is, is technology is starting to tell the story. and when the story is told when we start to tell the truth, the american people are responding. because unlike many of the other things on this particular issue, people are starting to say we need to do something about it. now, there have been studies that would suggest that a baby in the womb can feel pain at
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this particular point in the process. and feel it not only feel it in such a way -- and you'll have technical experts that will tell you -- not only feel it in such a way, but maybe a heightened sensitivity to that pain. and yet we are all part of a very compassionate, caring country. you know, when we look at this you know, we'll have a tsunami that may happen somewhere else, and many of us will reach deep into our pocket to give money to help somebody so far away that we'll never meet to do that and yet all of a sudden we're faced with the reality of this particular issue that we need to identify and approach. and i say that because what i want us to do is to make this argument more about the people than policy. now, we're here today to talk about policy and the fact is we will be debating this on the
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house floor. i expect it to pass the house as it has before. i expect it to be taken up in the senate. and, hopefully, we will start to see the limitation on this horrific crime against the unborn against someone who doesn't have a voice be rolled back. and yet for many of us, perhaps you like me, we've been silent for far too long. you know, it's been one of those things that you just don't talk about, you know? you make sure that you just, you have your own personal convictions, but you don't talk about it. but what happens is, is with science we're able to now i start talking about it in real terms, in accurate terms, and we're starting to define that in a way that has never been defined before. now, i say that because i've got a great son, and it could have been if we had different views
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23 years ago, we may have made a very different decision. now he's a student in law school and about to get married here in just a few months. and yet we see decisions that are being made each and every day. we also see horrific things that happen on our tv each and every day. with terrorism and everything else, we see acts of violence that we can't even describe to our kids. and yet this as well has been an act of violence, and as tim had shared, you know, some 60,000 people that have been killed since that decision 42 years ago. 60 million, excuse me. and when we look at that it's time that the american people stand up and say enough is enough. now, we're here in the house, and you have a very large pro-life caucus.
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and yet it is not enough to just talk about being pro-life. it's time that we put action to those words. and i think that you're starting to see that. among a number the of us there are -- a number of us, there are a few champions. you'll get to hear from some of them later today that chairman chris smith has been a real advocate for life in every single aspect of what he does. he's a good friend of mine and works real solidly on this particular issue. but i share that because it's sometimes easy to give up hope and to say, you know what? it's not a fight worth fighting, you know? there's no way to win. there's no way to accomplish it. and i'm here to tell you today that that's not the case. we're seeing incremental changes each and every day that are making a pig -- a big difference. so i want to close with a couple of other notes and one story.
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you know when we start to look at this particular issue, it is important that we understand the potential pain that so many of our neighbors and friends may have. my wife, as i was sharing today that i was coming here to give a speech on this, she says well did you know so and so had an an abortion, and did you know this person had an abortion? and i had no idea, you know, as they would talk together and as they shared, but some of the emotional scars that are deep seeded and lasting are still there, and i see that. and that's something that we don't talk about enough either. so here's what i would ask you to do. i would ask you to not give up hope. on this issue and you've heard from a lot of great speakers over the last, you know, 24 hours or so. you know, you've had
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presidential candidates or potential presidential candidates -- [laughter] you've had, you've had unbelievable people who are active in both the senate and the house. but really we're only a reflection of how active the people that we represent really are. you know i'm fortunate enough to serve one of the greatest places in the country, the beautiful mountains of western north carolina. and some of the greatest people. but my power rests in them as your representative and your senator, their power rests in you. so i'm going to close with this particular story. and it's a story about not giving up hope. it's one where we know the ending. and i love to share this story because we're right now celebrating the anniversary of the star spangle led banner. and that anniversary really
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talks about the stars and stripes and where it got the beginning. and for most of you that know the story, you know that it was about fort mchenry. and as it was there the bombarding was going over and over and over again. for 25 hours it meant on going. and francis scott key, looking at that, seeing in the morning expected to see, what? a white flag of surrender. and yet when he looked out that morning, what he saw were the stars and stripes still, till streaming. and when we see that, we can take that vision each and every day as we sing the star spangled banner. but you know what? that doesn't tell the whole story. because the whole story really is the bombardment that was taking place there at fort mchenry, was because the brush ships couldn't get -- the british ships couldn't get close enough to really make those bombs effective. and the reason they couldn't do
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that is because 22 people sunk their boats in the harbor so that that ship couldn't get close enough to make it effective. 32 patriots -- 22 patriots sunk their boats for a lost cause. 23 patriots probably were told by their friends, what are you doing, it's a lost cause, you're sinking your boat it's your livelihood, many of them were fishermen. and yet 22 patriots decided that they needed to act. now, i share that because many of you may have friends who are telling you that you're fighting for a lost cause. and i'm here to tell you today that just like we are able to sing about the star-spangled banner because 22 patriots did an act -- none of us know their names -- perhaps you working with 21 of your fellow comrades to work on a particular issue
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that is not winnable might be winnable. and i'm here today to tell you that the voice of the american people has never been stronger. it's never been stronger on this particular issue it's never been stronger really when it comes to just letting people know that they love their country and they're willing to fight for it. i see over to my left you're going to get to hear from a great gentleman that i have a great deal of respect from, congressman mike kelly. and so he brings together people, and we've met on this particular issue in another member's office to say what can we do to be more pro-life and more active. and so i'm here today to ask you, are you willing to be one of the 22 who are willing to stand up and work arm in arm with someone else to fight for perhaps what some people call a lost cause? because if you are on this
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particular issue there's 60 million lives that could have been changed if we had just gotten to work a little bit sooner. it's an honor to serve you, it's an honor to be here today and i thank you so much for letting me come and share a little bit from my heart: god bless you. [applause] >> thank you very much congressman meadows. that was wonderful. okay. now i get to introduce congressman mike kelly. congressman mike kelly the pittsburgh tribune rejewish refers to representative kelly as butler's straight talker. pitts ugh tribune review is my hometown paper too so it's the good paper in that town. according to cq roll call, any -- straight talk is what we need more of in washington d.c. it's the duplicity and the double speak that people are
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tired of. so that is just very refreshing for us. he is establishing himself as a capable communicator, and that is a very good thing. today he's going to talk to us about the child welfare inclusion act which will protect child welfare providers from being discriminated against based on their religious beliefs or moral convictions. the chairman of conference of catholic bishops said this about kelly's bill: our first and most cherished freedom religious liberty, is to be enjoyed by all americans including child welfare providers who serve the needs of our most vulnerable children. the inclusion act would remedy this unjust discrimination by enabling all providers to serve the needs of parents and children in a man or consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions. they are proud to be strong supporters of this legislation. please welcome the congressman to the stage. [applause] >> thanks, i really appreciate that. and thank you all for being here. i spent last summer one day i
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had a chance to sit down with dr. feulner, and it was at a memorial service and really had a chance to talk to him a little bit more because i think what heritage does so important. i don't know of another organization that protects the fundamental rights of who it is that we are as american people. so that was really important for me. the other thing -- and our staff, tom coltaire worked here. u.s. act fong worked here -- isaac fong worked here. robert smith worked here. so we have a real strong heritage foundation inside our staff. and also there's a young lady who's here, and she's been working on this piece for quite some time. i think that sometimes it's hard for us to understand why is it that you have to enact legislation that basically just says who we are as a people, who we've always been as a people and yet we've seen things morph into something altogether different than we ever thought would happen?
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and when we talk about the child welfare inclusion act, i really find it hard or to understand in a town where policy so important that we sometimes let politics overrun the basic policy. it just doesn't make sense. it's not who we are as a people. it's not who we ever will be as a people. and as long as there's people like heritage, we can make sure those things go on all the time. in fact, the opportunity for all and favoritism to none is really pretty much right into the wheelhouse of what this piece of legislation talks about. and i didn't know much about this. i will tell you this, though, in my family my brother-in-law, david, and sister-in-law, michelle, have a son eric who's adopted. my brother-in-law don and his wife california run da have a -- california run da have a daughter. my brother-in-law, victor and his wife karen have both b.k. and taye or hour -- taylor who are adopted. these are all people who wanted
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to have children and for one reason or another they weren't based with that. but they went to a faith-based organization in order to go through the adoption process. in our own office tim butler who works with us every day and is from erie pennsylvania at one time his mom had three foster care daughters, and as timmy -- i didn't know this. we were at a parade one day, and he said i want you to meet my brother dye on but i didn't realize he's not his biological brother, his adopted brother to a faith-based organization. so that brings us to today. what is it about the child welfare inclusion act? why is that so important? why would we even have to debate that? because, quite frankly, at the end of the day i scratch my head and raise my shoulders and say this can't possibly be happening during our times in our country. so why is this so important? well, here's why it's important
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because there's a move afoot right now -- and this is so it goes against everything that i think we believe -- that if you're faith based, if you're a religious organization in some states you won't get to use that funding. if you fundamentally believe that a child should be raised in a home, in a traditional home traditional marriage with a mom and a dad, that somehow you're not the type of people who should be allowed to do that work. and if using any federal funds to do that, no, your not going to be able to do that because the states get the money from the federal government and they decide how to dole it out. why all of a sudden are we discriminating against faith-based people? why with rediscriminating against religious organizations? if you look back in our history who is it that has always been there to take care of children? especially children that didn't have a family to grow up in?
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it has always been our religious conviction. that's just who we are. we take care of the most vulnerable. we want to adopt those children. we want to be foster parents to those children. and some people, quite frankly just i feel very comfortable about saying part of our agency's work is that we believe placing a child in what we consider to be a traditional home with a mother and a father is the way we should go. i don't think that's a hard thing to understand. where i do have -- i have difficulty with this -- some people say, no no, because be you don't believe in some of the things that we believe then you shouldn't be allowed to do that kind of work. and you say, my goodness, this is not the way it was ever designed. why would that be a problem? why would you be willing to exclude faith-based and religious organizations? why would you do that? and the answer is quite simple
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because you don't agree with what we agree with. you don't believe what we believe. you believe in something different than we believe. and so we're going to penalize you for being that way. we're not going to allow you to participate or have the funding. now, it doesn't happen everywhere. no, it doesn't happen everywhere. but it is happening in san francisco, it is happening in illinois, it is happening in massachusetts, and it's happening right here in washington d.c. really? because of our religious convictions? we're being excluded? we're being told you can't participate? you can't look out for these children? you can't give them a home? you can't be an adoptive parent or a foster care parent? and why? simply because you don't agree with what we state. now, i don't know why that would be. and quite frankly the piece of legislation that we're talking about, it's called the all inclusive. it excludes none. it doesn't say if you don't
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believe what i believe then you should be on the outside looking in. that's not what it says. all it says is everybody, everybody gets a seat at the table. if you choose, as a lot of my friends have chosen that do foster care and adoptive care, that you want to go through a church-based organization, a faith-based organization, then fine. that's fine. because that's fundamentally how it all started. by same token, if we don't -- by the same token if we don't stop this now, think of the implications as we go forward. now, i represent a district back home, there's a place called erie pennsylvania, and the big part is pascal. every year or pascal worries about sand replenishment because as the waves leave, they take part of the shore with them. the same thing's happened with our policies. it's not the first wave that's the problem it's the continual battering of the shores that's the problem.
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now, you say what is this guy talking about? i'm talking about fundamentally what we believe. if we don't stop it now, if we don't change the tide if we don't stand up and say who it is that we are not just from time to from time to time, but every day, then we're going to lose. just fundamentally who we are, our first amendment rights. why would anybody be able to step in and say no, you don't get the funding? and, quite frankly i've never understood it. i don't discriminate against anybody. i really i know what i believe. i know how i was raised, and i know what i think works. other people have different ideas, and i have no problem with that. that's fine. this is america, you can think that way. i'm certainly not going to exclude you from any conversation. so why all of a sudden would the tables be turned? why would we allow that to happen? now, i mentioned sue ann earlier. three years ago we sat down and started listening to what was
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going on. here's what i thought, and i mean this. i'm a father of four, been blessed with ten grandchildren. and i can't tell you how much i enjoy being with them. .. to go celebrate our savior's
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birth. yes, find to be excited about santa claus we understand the other part of what christmas is then you start to really get the meaning of it. i'm an automobile dealer. i want you to understand steep i start talking about a products and i really think you have to be abe to sell the features and benefits and the value in order to make the sale or close the sale. i want you to think about this child welfare inclusive. features and benefits interest or for children but not only for parents and adoptive parents. the joy you have raising children and joy that you have watching them pro, the feeling you get made a difference in somebody's life it should never be excluded because you don't believe what i believe? you don't get to do that. federal taxes we collect from all over the 50 states and
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distributed among the states individually, i don't think san francisco, illinois massachusetts, or washington d.c. has the right to tell you or your organization you no longer are going to participate in this funding. it not just who we are. if we ever think that the smallest bite fight is not important, then we're ceding who we are. starts with one grain of sand. you have to protect it all all the time. now our piece says this, if you want to do that, if you want to discriminate, if you want to be that entity, here is the trouble, you lose 15% of your funding. i firmly believe until you hit people in the wallet, you can tell them i don't think what you're doing is right and they shrug your shoulders. but there is a penalty for doing wrong way. we don't think you should be discriminatory. we think everybody should be included. every child should have the
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opportunity, every family should have the opportunity to adopt or be foster parents. should not be based on religious beliefs. as we move forward, i look at it, i think we're challenged almost every day who we are and look back on it, 66 years old and i look back in my life, i was truly so fortunate to grow up in the best town with the best types and parents and preachers and teachers and coaches a child could have had. they were all people came out of the great depression came through world war ii. came through the really dark nights and come through it the way most of us do on both knees. my dad used to say all the time, and i can remember gathering down in the bedroom of my parents, and my mom and dad, our night prayers. people say that is corny. that is not corny. that is who we are. that is who we believe. he can never walk away from that. we can never ever think the fight we fight today is unimportant. somehow we allow ourselves to be
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marginalized or discredited or be discriminated against. that is not who we are. i will fight for everybody's rights as a human being. i'm just saying in this case, you want to stand up we will be counted. we will make sure that faith-based and religious organizations are not penalized for believing what they believe and that is who we are. our first amendment states that very clearly. he want to thank heritage the opportunity to be here. i also want to thank our staff because i tell you they do marvlous work. three of them coming from this organization, it is just who we are. it is part of the fabric that weaves our office together. we have people with strong convictions and believe what we are and what we protect. heritage has been a big part of what i learned early on. what you all do is incredibly important. there are a quite a few people that believe things we believe.
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we don't always get up a chance to talk about it but when we do we have to make the most of it. you heard from a number of people today, the fact that we talk about opportunity for all and favoritism towards none is there anything more fundamentally american than that. thank you for the opportunity to be here. i guess we'll take questions and answer. this is fundamental stuff. i mean nobody, i mean nobody is going to be able to exclude us, nobody. by the same token we're not saying that we should exclude anybody else either. just tell you, that people i've already told you about i know them. i see them every day. i've seen them from the time of their tiny babies. i've been to their baptisms. i've been to that graduations and school plays. you would not know they were not the biological children of people who adopt then. i want to make sure we keep a really broad view what we're trying to do. don't exclude us. don't leave us out in the cold
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and don't find fault for us because of what we fundamentally believe. if there is some questions we're going to take, please. [applause] yes, sir? >> one question. >> okay. one question. >> [inaudible]. how does the bill -- >> it is lack of funding. honestly, i mean this, unless you hit somebody in the wallet they don't respond. if you find them i guaranty they will change. that is the way i find in my lifetime the way things work. listen what we say, these are federal fund that are collected, given to the states and states pass them out. we're asking the states, don't mess with our folks. so then, so we, 15% penalty if they do those things. i would hope that this starts us thinking. i met what i said earlier. started off with these four. doesn't everything start off small and get big? make sure we stand up for who we
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are, all the time. not just partly. kim, thanks so much. really pleasure being with you. >> very much appreciated. thank you to your staff. tom used to work with me in ed fuller in's office. thanks congressman. sorry we don't have time for more questions. we're recognizing we have two more great speakers who have to vote very soon. we would like to get them on. our next speaker, congressman raul labrador will take up on this theme of religious freedom. congressman labrador is leader in the house of marriage and religious freedom act. the act would prohibit the federal government going after them their simple belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. tremendously important piece of legislation unfortunately. sad we need it but we do need it. we're at a place and time right now in our country where we need
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leaders who will stand up and who will protect folks who have who basically just want religious freedom. we want to be able to worship and live our lives as they feel so-called. congressman labrador as you all know is leader amongst conservative movement. he is a bright young rising star in the conservative movement who is a very good communicator and who is often talked about as potential leader in the future. i think all of those whispers are very warranted. please welcome congressman labrador to the stage. [applause] >> good afternoon. it is really great to be here and it is great to talk about these issues. let me start off by thanking heritage for putting on this summit. i appreciate the opportunity to be here and talking to you and sharing ideas what i believe will be one of the most important issues that we must
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address and that issue is religious lib pert. and the growing threats to it. regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum i think we can all agree freedom of religion is one of our foundational values. yet like many of you, i am deeply concerned that this administration may begin to use the federal government to discriminate against individuals and organizations who believe in traditional marriage for religious reasons. the administration already has a history of imposing their ideas on religious and faith-based institutions. we all know about the hhs mandate on contraception. we also remember how the irs targeted conservative and tea party groups trying to take away their non-profit status as part of a coordinated agenda. we should not assume the irs or other federal agencies will be any friendlier to organizations that support and want to continue practicing traditional marriage. in fact, at the state level we've already seen numerous examples how this is already moving in the wrong direction.
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in my district, in idaho, we had a christian couple who has performed over 35,000 traditional marriages at a wedding chapel in the resort city of court today lane. recently they had to refile their tax status as a non-profit religious corporation after some in the city argued that they could be compelled to fish eight -- officiate same-sex marriages. there are cases involving christian and adoption and foster care. we heard about some of those a few minutes ago. foster care agencies have been forced to stop providing those services because they object to placing children in same sex households. still other cases include a baker, a florist a bed and breakfast, a t-shirt company a student counselor and salvation army. in 2013 the california senate passed legislation that would have removed from the boy scouts of america certain state level tax exemptions and threatened similar groups who hold traditional views about marriage
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and sexual morality. it passed in california by 27-9 before being tabled in the state assembly. these attacks on religious liberty are creating climate of intolerance and intimidation for citizens who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. i realize that the examples i have cited concern state law. my intent is to insure that the federal government could not use federal law to threaten those institutions and individuals who believe in traditional marriage. that is why last congress i introduced hr -3133 the marriage and religious freedom act which would protect freedom of conscience on the issue of marriage. the bill had bipartisan support an over 100 cosponsors. i'm looking forward to reintroducing the legislation soon and i expect a robust support in the new congress and robust debate. the new bill will be narrowly tailored to prohibit the federal
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government from inappropriately targeting organizations or individuals who hold that belief that marriage is union of one man and one woman. hr 3133 prohibited the federal government from making tax-exempt status contingent on a group's belief about marriage. no group should be denied or lose tax exemption because they believe the marriage is the union of one man or one woman or sexual relations should be reserved for marriage. my bill would ensure the federal government can not deny or exclude a person from receiving federal contract contract, loan license certification accreditation, employment or other similar position or status. tax-exempt status isn't just for those groups who win the favor of a particular government administration. while americans are free to structure their personal relationships as state law permits, they should not use government to penalize those who think and act differently. protecting religious liberty and
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rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone's freedom. all americans should be free to believe and act in the public square based on their beliefs about marriage without sphere of any government penalty. all people should be treated with dignity and with respect. that includes not using the law or tax code to coerce and penalize those who seek to follow their conscience. to be clear, our bill will protect the religious freedom of anyone who believes that marriage is the unity of one man and one woman and it does not seek to take anything away from anyone. this is a great bill that conservativeses, independents libertarians can rally around t can generate support in both parties and that can actually, i think it can actually pass both houses of congress and become law. with your support i think it can. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you appreciate it. >> absolutely. >> thank you congressman labrador. we're actually going to do it.
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we'll get all these guys to their vote on time. this is pretty impressive. we work on our feet here pretty quickly here at heritage. as congressman meadows just said congressman chris smith has been a real lifelong advocate for pro-life issues. elected in 1980, serving his 18th 19th term, 11th term in the house, he spent 32 years chairing the bipartisan pro-life caucus. he is lead advocate not just on life issues but issues of human trafficking as well. we're excited to have him here today. we're big supporters of his legislation and look forward to working with him on it. please welcome him to the podium. congressman. >> thank you tim, and thank you for, to heritage for hosting this very important meeting. and you know, the elections have made a huge difference. we are now, i think more optimistic than i have ever been
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and i've been in congress now for 35 years that the life issues, the respect for the sanctity of human life and for marriage is something especially given the fact that this administration and this president and he is the abortion president, we are in the process of turning this around and of course it has been through your help and through the grassroots and never-ending work of the pro-life movement that has been greatest human rights struggle ever. as i think you know on september 9th, 2009 president obama told lawmakers at a specially called joint session of congress and by extension the american public, that health care reform that under our plan, as he put it, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion. in an 11th hour ploy to garner a remnant of pro-life congressional democrats absolutely needed for passage of the affordable care act, the president issued an executive order, on march 24th, 2010
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and said, and i quote, the act maintains current hyde amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extend those restrictions to newly-created health insurance exchanges. turns out that those ironclad promises by the president himself are absolutely untrue and ranks right up there with the president's off the-stated deception that if you like your health care insurance plan you can keep it, dubbed "politifact" as 1919 lie of the year. as you know hyde amendment as two indisputable parts. it prohibits any federal funding for abortion or any insurance except in the case of rape incest or to save the life of the mother. obamacare violates the hyde funding by funding insurance plans and by paying for abortion on demand.
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despite an appalling degree of non-transparency and obfuscation by the obama administration, an extensive audit by the government accountability office found in september that 1036 obamacare exchanges covered elective abortions. he said that wouldn't happen. gao found separate billing of the abortion surcharge required by the act, is not being enforced and the abortion funding premium and again, this is in 2015 now, is being illegally rolled into the total plan cost. health care consumers therefore buying health insurance with hill or no knowledge that they are purchasing abortion subsidizing plans. my own state of new jersey every single plan on the exchange pays for abortion on demand and sadly, that is being replicated by many other states. when it comes to funding, public fundings for abortion the 2015 open enrollment is at least as
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bad, if not worse than last year. never been about a website. again president obama's solemn promise not to fund abortion on demand continues to be broken with impunity. not just a lie that was done once, it gets replicated year in year out because what he said got the votes to procure enactment of that egregiously flawed legislation. is, obamacare is a web site and encourage you to look at cbold rasestki
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